EPISODE #118

All the Feels with Rob Huebel

EPISODE #118

All the Feels with Rob Huebel

Actor and comedian Rob Huebel is know for playing a**holes. So when I went into this interview with him, I was expecting him to be tough to crack. Turns out, he’s a softie. I mean, yes, Rob told me to f*ck off, but our conversation really ran the emotional spectrum.

Tune in to hear Rob talk about becoming a dad at age 47, and what it was like to have his baby come early. By nearly four months.

Rob and his wife Holly Hannula had to leave their daughter, Holden, in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for a whopping 117 days—all the while worried that something could go terribly wrong with her health.

Rob and Holly with Holden in the NICU

Holden’s NICU graduation!

We don’t often hear birth and NICU stories from a dad’s point of view. And Rob talks about the start of his family with so much heart … and humor … and f-bombs … and one really well-placed fart noise … that I can’t stop thinking about this conversation. Oh, and also he used to sneak onto airplanes as a child. I think this one’s gonna stick with you guys, too.

More Rob

We love Rob’s performance as a dad getting divorced on Transparent. And as a smarmy real estate agent in I Love You, Man.

Also as a quick-tempered dad in this pre-election Funny or Die video:

And here’s the full version of the “Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man” trailer that we excerpted on the show. Rob says this is the ad that got him typecast as an a*hole.

Resources for Parents of Preemies

March of Dimes works to help prevent premature birth and improve the lives of preemies and their families.

Hand to Hold provides resources and support to preemies and babies born with special needs.

Graham’s Foundation delivers support, advocacy, and research to improve outcomes for preemies and their families.

What surprises came with the birth of YOUR child?
Especially looking for dads here. C’mon, dads, we know you’ve got interesting stuff to say!

Our sponsors for this episode are Third Love, Kopari Beauty, Squarespace and Little Passports (code: LONGSHORT). Use the promo codes at checkout for a special discount.

18 thoughts on “EPISODE #118: All the Feels with Rob Huebel

  1. Omg…I cried the whole episode! As the mom of a 32-weeker (who is almost 4!), I totally identified with so much of what Rob said. Emergency c-section in the middle of the night from a complete placental abruption, hemorrhaging, and being taken from my hubby in a flurry of activity 5 minutes after arriving at the ER, and then his 2 hour radio silence having no idea if baby or I were ok…or alive! Him touching our baby in the isolate as she was rushed past him to the NICU. ALL. THE. FEELS.

    Thanks for covering Robs story, and giving light to preemie families!!

    1. I also had a very similar situation happen with my daughter, who was born at 30 weeks after two weeks of bleeding, bed rest and an emergency C-section to find a placenta abruption. She spent 50 days in the NICU. I was listening to this episode on public transit and basically had to shove the tears back into my face for 25 minutes on my way to work. Thank you for sharing your story. So happy to know it has a happy ending.

  2. This episode brought the surface a lot of emotions from the birth of my daughter.

    She was only 2 weeks premature, but she was born with what the midwife referred to as “sticky lungs”. She didn’t cry when she came out and we were extremely concerned because of that. Her lungs were slightly underdeveloped, but since we were at an open style hospital the midwives were allowed to decide whether the baby went to the NICU. We decided to try skin to skin (kangaroo care) before she was whisked away.

    The midwife placed our daughter on my wife’s chest and there was no change right away. The midwife asked if my wife sang to her in the womb and she said that she did. The midwife suggested my wife sing a song that she sang to her in the womb. So, through a lot of tears my wife sang “Baby Mine” from Dumbo. What felt like an eternity was probably only about 30 minutes.

    That moment was scary, but we realized that if we hadn’t been at a hospital that allowed us to keep the baby in the room with us for the entire time and in turn would have kept her in the NICU or a nursery, that we would have had a much less memorable experience of bonding with our daughter.

  3. Thank you for this episode! It also brought me to tears, both anxious and happy tears. I’m a mom to twins who were born just shy of 31 weeks. My water broke at 28 weeks and I spent nearly three weeks on hospital bed rest while the nurses and doctors tried to manage the contractions. It was the scariest time of my life, and of course my husband and I were so nervous about what condition they would be in if born so early. The babies are now six months old and are healthy and happy, but the six weeks they were in the NICU were incredibly difficult and draining. Listening to Rob and Holly’s story brought back so many big feelings from that time and it’s nice to hear from people who went through something similar. And of course, the day you bring them home is so life-altering. Thank you for sharing more about preemies : )

  4. I love love loved this episode. I’m a mom of a 32-weeker who spent six weeks in the NICU. My daughter is now seven months, but she too was born by emergency c-section after a few hospitalizations/episodes of bleeding. This episode brought back so many feelings and memories about the NICU – the isolette, ventilator, cannulas, feeding tubes, heart monitors, bradycardia, progress one day and a setback the next, the first time she was big enough for the nurses to dress her in preemie clothes, guilt when I wasn’t at the hospital, frustration at having to drive up to the hospital every day, excitement each time we neared her unit in the NICU, the anticipation of each day’s update, celebration of milestones, stalking her on the NICU webcam when we were home, jealousy when younger babies mastered temperature control/breathing/eating and our baby still couldn’t get a handle on sucking and swallowing, fretting about pumping, wonder and joy as her personality seemed to develop day by day, and relief that there were nurses and doctors to care for her when we weren’t capable. My daughter has a hole in her heart and was discharged from the hospital on an apnea machine that prevented us from holding her wire-free for another seven weeks. Like a few others mentioned, I cried pretty much the entire way through this episode. Being a preemie mom was such an emotional experience and we heard so many stories from other parents whose babies had also spent time in the NICU. We have come to think of those eight additional weeks as “bonus moments” with our daughter and feel blessed that we got to experience the development that normally happens in utero. Four months though? I can’t even imagine how tough that would be. Thank you for sharing this story! I’m so glad that things worked out for Rob and Holly.

  5. Phenomenal episode.

    Our second child was almost full-term, but was born with a cleft lip and palate. So while our NICU experience was negligible in length (a couple of weeks) in comparison, Rob’s telling really captured the uncertainty you go through while surrounded by those teams professionals. I am also glad that you asked about going home, because that was one of the biggest adjustments. You are, for whatever time period, surround by people who know exactly what to do when something goes wrong… to flying completely without help. For us, feeding was a big issue because of the tube in his stomach and not being able to form a suction. That, and surgical issues. He had his first surgery at 14 weeks and has had several since… each one with a new set of anxieties.

    It is easy to go on and on about the greatness of those medical pros, but suffice it to say that my son is a trooper. My wife is a trooper. I just have to mow the lawn… and I hire someone for that.

    Thanks for this episode!

  6. My wife and I tried for several years to get pregnant. After 1 miscarriage we had our identical twins at 24 weeks and 2 day. Our son died the next day. I asked them to stop the second code they were performing on him. Our other son is medically complex but also the happiest human I’ve ever met. This was a wonderful, but hard to hear, podcast. Thank you

  7. All the Feels, indeed! This episode brought back a flood of memories and I spent the majority of the podcast holding back tears, which reminded me of all the times I held back tears when my daughters were in the hospital. My mantra was “No tears in the NICU”.

    My twin girls were born at 26 weeks and 2 days after a six weeks of bedrest, three of which were spent in the hospital. We also went through infertility, and I had an emergency c-section, although I was under general so I don’t know what those first few hours after my girls were born were like. It’s amazing Rob’s daughter was able to breath on her own in the beginning! One of mine had to be resuscitated (not going to lie, kinda happy I was under anesthesia otherwise I would have been freaking out). It was heartbreaking to hear Rob wasn’t allowed to hold his daughter for so long. Our NICU placed huge importance on kangaroo care, so I held one of my daughters for the first time at 3 days old and the other at 5 days old, and we were able to touch them the day after they were born. After a rollercoaster hospital stay, Twin A was discharged at 81 days and Twin B followed at 95 days. Although they’ve had a few surgeries and hospitalizations between them, my daughters are doing amazingly well now at 2.5 and no one would ever guess that they were born so very early.

    Thank you for doing such a great show about micro preemies and from a guy’s perspective. It was great to hear that another 26 weeker is doing so well now. Hope the oxygen cannula gets kicked to the curb soon!

  8. How wonderful to hear the ‘man’s’ perspective. I cried while listening and loved having humor brought to an otherwise serious topic. Both of my kids came early, 33rd week and 36th. It’s never what we imagine when getting pregnant- rushing to the ER, dealing with life or death decisions. Even after my water broke I laughed at the ER nurses thinking, ‘This surely isn’t happening!’ I thought I was just unable to control my bladder! But, the reality is that I know fewer women who have experienced births with no complications than women who have had the textbook experience of a baby just sliding out with no issues. We humans are all made up differently! We all benefit from hearing each other’s REAL stories! I wish someone had told me to turn off those damned ‘What To Expect’ videos and put away the birthing books and urged me to seek support in my immediate community. Thanks for sharing this story!

  9. I also have to say thank you for that episode! I’m the mom of a strong and healthy, now 7 year old, who came 2 months early. So I can not imagine having a little one come 4 months early!
    That story was amazing and recalled so many memories for me. Also, props for Rob’s appreciation for the strength of mom and baby. Birthing is no joke!
    I was living on a tiny Caribbean island with no hospital facility when my water broke in the middle of the night. I totally know that feeling of, “No no no no no, this is not happening!” Everything happens so fast and your brain cannot keep up. I ended up at the small health clinic on island, then in an ambulance transport to an ambulance boat that took me across the dark water in the wee hours of the morning, then in another ambulance on the other side that took me to the hospital that was on a nearby island. My 4 pounder arrived 24 hours later after the medical team could not stop the contractions. This was all a little different from the stateside, home birth we had planned! We also thought he was HUGE because he was sleeping in between a 1 and 2 pounder – so he looked normal size. It wasn’t until weeks later once he was released that we began to understand that he was a little on the small side. Those first days of just getting him to drink 2 teaspoons of milk were unreal.
    Thank you Rob for telling your story. Birthing little ones is a crazy experience for all parents but the surprise of a premie baby for parents is particularly intense. Thank you for telling your family’s story and reminding so many of us what an incredibly scary and special time that all is. Write everything down! Normal life does happen and the memories of all that you made it through fade. Thank you again.

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